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LETTERS—On the streets against Trump to show there’s an alternative

This article is over 4 years, 11 months old
Issue 2653
Protesting in London, 2018
Protesting in London, 2018 (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Why has Donald Trump achieved popularity in the US and beyond? Above all, why does he appeal to working people?

People in the US have seen their prospects of prosperity vanish since the early 1970s.

People in the post-industrial rust belt looked at Hillary Clinton and saw more of the same neoliberalism which had failed them in the past.

For many of them, a racist, sexist explanation for social problems is better than no explanation at all.

Trump’s promise to disrupt the economic status quo was the most important factor in his 2016 election victory.

Across the world, the failure of liberal democracy to offer meaningful solutions to the failure of its policies paves the way for fascism.

The contradictions of capitalism threaten to get only worse as we move into an economically and environmentally uncertain future.

It is essential that we put forward a coherent analysis so that we’re not dragged towards the most unimaginable brutality.

We also need to bring that analysis onto the streets.

Broad segments of the population are outraged that a man who has opened up space for fascists across the world is arriving on their doorstep.

This is doubly the case in Britain, which has been one of the most consistent accomplices to American imperial ambitions. As much as the United States would like to think otherwise, it does not have the power to act unilaterally to secure its imperial interests.

It needs the consent of its allies, whether passive or enthusiastic, in order for it to act.

A massive demonstration in Britain will demonstrate that the majority want no part in their government’s complicity in US imperialism.

When Donald Trump comes in June, let him know that Britain refuses to be complicit in his barbarism.

Thomas Hummel

New York

Labour got on board

Oxford Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) recently found out that Ukip candidates were standing for election in surrounding towns and villages. We couldn’t get SUTR leaflets out to cover all these areas.

We approached a Labour activist in SUTR and asked if Labour would distribute the flyer while campaigning.

At first he didn’t think campaigning on two things was possible. But we stressed the flyer would reflect Labour’s stated opposition to racism.

Our contact wrote to the Chair of Oxford Labour Campaign Committee, who gave the go-ahead. This meant we could challenge Ukip on a large scale.

All SUTR groups can try the same—and with other parties that oppose racism.

Julie Simmons


Cut the rent at York uni

Twenty of us at the University of York marched to the senior management office last week. We demanded action on high rents, weak mental health services and shit quality accommodation.

We stormed the building of the vice chancellor’s office and stayed until a member of senior management came down.

We got an agreement for an open meeting for the university to explain their above-inflation rent hikes.

York Cut the Rent isn’t going away any time soon.

Harkan Karakaya


Workers can always find ways to organise

Chinese software developers have made good use of a contradiction of capitalism identified by Marx.

Capitalist firms have to get their workers to cooperate for exploitation to proceed efficiently.

In so doing they create the basis for collective action by the workforce against the exploitation.

So capitalism produces its own gravediggers.

Chinese tech companies such as Alibaba are introducing the “996 Regime”. This means working from 9am to 9pm, six days a week.

In order to work efficiently, Chinese software developers share code on Microsoft’s GitHub platform. But this turns out to be an excellent tool for organising resistance to 996—especially as it’s encrypted, and beyond the reach of the censors.

Alibaba’s software developers are also good at gravedigging.

John Shemeld


It’s right to boycott Eurovision in Israel

Since Israel won last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, and so the right to host this one, Palestine activists have been calling for a boycott.

Last week Stephen Fry, Marina Abramovich and various other people signed a letter complaining that this is divisive.

Apparently the Eurovision Song Contest brings people together and the call to boycott undermines that.

Apparently the divisions between Palestinians and Israelis are nothing to do with the illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

Or the continuing siege of Gaza and the refusal to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

These are precisely the reasons why Palestine activists are calling for a boycott.

Israel is not a normal state and should not be treated as such.

And the notion of Eurovision “bringing people together” rings rather hollow.

Thanks to Israeli repression, few people in Gaza will have the electricity to power their televisions to watch any programme.

Bethan Turner

East London

Pension cuts won’t help

A recent House of Lords report has said that pensioners’ benefits should be cut to help the young.

Thanks to Tory austerity, pensioner poverty is increasing and life expectancy is falling.

The idea that money taken off the pensioners will somehow end up in the pockets of the young is laughable.

Duncan Brown


Parliament lets us down

In Scotland the socialist message has not yet broken through, but left policies are broadly supported by the populace.

We must have strength in our convictions. I will vote for socialists in Scotland.

But I call for protests on the streets.

Parliament won’t act in our interest, so we should.

James Stuart

Address provided

Be creative on climate action

The stress capitalism places on people and planet leaves us all with the future of a dead Earth.

Can we be as creative as Extinction Rebellion and take action into all workplaces and outside the workplace for those who have no workplace to go to?

Chris Hart


We won’t let them frack

The ruling class’s flagship policy of destroying the ecology of Lancashire in pursuit of shale gas profits is now in tatters.

The Cuadrilla Frackers have been forced to clear Preston New Road of heavy equipment.

John Murphy

Blackburn Trades Union Council

He’s no anti-imperialist

You say Corbyn is an anti-imperialist (Socialist Worker online, 1 May).

Yet he’s a Unionist through and through. So how does that work?



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